Interim President's Message
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This year, we are strategically increasing our spending. Most importantly, we are increasing the number of interns we fund this year from eight to ten! Two of these interns have specific funding sources, and we thank the Virginia Native Plant Society and Bird-A-thon donors for their support. Interns are crucial to the success of the Park. They allow us to leverage the expertise of the staff to accomplish additional programming and important aspects of managing the natural resources at Huntley. And we provide the best setting to hook talented young people on a career path related to natural resources management and environmental education.
Another big part of our spending is the Norma Hoffman Financial Assistance Program (see Grateful Reflections on 2022 in this issue). Named after our own beloved Norma Hoffman, and supported largely by the generosity of her family, this fund helps subsidize visits to the Park by school children with financial need. There is no more important goal of the Park than to invest in our children-they will be the future stewards of the Park. Not only is there the chance that these visits provide a spark for some of the participants, leading to their engagement with nature and its protection, but they also can serve to improve the lives of these children, many of whom face significant challenges. This is how we make the world an incrementally better place.
Finally, we are talking with Park staff about providing substantial support for several big (for us) capital investments at HMP. One possibility is contributing to replacing all of the very long-in-the-tooth (and in some cases now-illegible) signage on the Hike/Bike Trail. We'll keep you informed.
The upshot is that we can do more to help the Park and its programs. Although we intend to spend down our reserves to some extent, we are also planning carefully to ensure that our increased spending is sustainable over the long term. We know that there are a myriad of excellent causes competing for the generosity of our members, but we hope to continue to make FOHMP worthy of your continued generosity. If you have the ability, please consider making an additional donation to support our favorite Park.
Donations can be made by clicking on the DONATE button located at the top of this page.
P.S. A huge shout-out to our Treasurer, Katie Baker. Her excellent work helps us make sure that we can provide resources where they are needed. Katie is not only a Treasurer, but a treasure.
See you on the trails, and feel free to send me an email at email@example.com if you have any questions about FOHMP or the Board.
Ben Jesup, Interim President